Resources on Increasing Turnout

Every voting activist wants to get as many voters to turn out and actually vote as humanly possible. Activists have been working at increasing voter turnout for decades, and they have learned things we can all use to reach more new voters in our turnout campaigns. Below we have extracted from our Resources listings a few videos, books and articles specifically focused on boosting voter turnout.

Videos on Increasing Turnout

Increasing Voter Turnout. Interview with Debra Cleaver, founder and CEO of This C-SPAN edition of the Washington Journal features Cleaver discussing efforts to increase voter turnout by focusing efforts on low-propensity voters, young people, and people of color. Watch >>
Nov 2018, 25 Minutes, 750 Views

How to Increase Young Voter Turnout by 50 Percent. TEDx Talk by Daniel Regan. Regan describes how a group of young professionals in Oklahoma led a get-out-the-vote drive that overcame apathy and voting barriers to increase young voter turnout by 50 percent. Learn how other communities can do the same. Watch >>
May 2017, 10 Minutes, 10K Views

How to Increase Voter Turnout. TEDx Talk by Jenn Brown. Brown asks if we could make celebrating and participating in election day as fun and ubiquitous as Independence Day. Could that increase turnout? Watch >>
February 2019, 15 Minutes, 45K Views

Books on Increasing Turnout

Get Out the Vote: How to Increase Voter Turnout. By Donald P. Green and Alan S. Gerber. Now in its 4th Edition, this practical guide has become the voter mobilization reference text both for those who manage campaigns and for grassroots activists alike. In this most recent edition, Green and Gerber shed new light on the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of various tactics, including door-to-door canvassing, e-mail, direct mail, and phone calls. Importantly, they give special attention to "relational organizing" through friend-to-friend communication and events.
2019 - 253 Pages

Mobilizing Inclusion: Transforming the Electorate through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns. By Lisa Garcia Bedolla and Melissa R. Michelson. Which get-out-the-vote efforts actually succeed in ethnically and racially diverse communities? The authors offer a persuasive way to explain why some methods work while others don't. They suggest a new frame to think about voting, which they call the Social Cognition Model. It is based on an individual's sense of civic identity. Their work is a useful guide and offers concrete strategies for voter mobilization efforts.
2012 - 304 Pages
Paperback | Kindle

Articles on Increasing Turnout

Increasing Voter Participation in America: Policies to Drive Participation and Make Voting More Convenient. By Danielle Root & Liz Kennedy. This detailed 50-page study from the Center for American Progress, linked here as a print-quality PDF, explains how barriers and cynicism keep millions from voting. It suggests ten solutions: Automatic voter registration; Same-day voter registration; Preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds; Online voter registration; In-person early voting; No-excuse absentee voting; Sufficient resources and ensure voting is accessible; Restore rights for formerly incarcerated people; Strengthen civics education; and, Invest in voter engagement and outreach. This study provides an overview of how we can greatly increase voting, and this in turn can help voting registration and turnout activists see where they fit in the larger pro-democracy movement. Read Report >>
From the Center for American Progress
July 11, 2018

How to Increase Voter Turnout (With Research-Backed Strategies). By Tony Joy. Starting by considering just why it is that people don't vote, Joy lays out several steps with proven effectiveness in turning out voters. These include helping voters make a plan, repeatedly contacting them personally, utilizing social and peer pressure to reinforce that voting is a civic duty, providing voters with better information, and more. Read Article >>
From CallHub (A political voice and SMS service business)
December 7, 2019

How to Increase Voter Turnout in Communities Where People Have Not Usually Participated in Elections. By Melissa R. Michelson. Personal contact to urge voting can be enough to cause many low-income minority people to see themselves anew, as the sorts of people who regularly go to the polls on Election Day, according to Michelson. In turn, voting even once can become habit forming, reinforcing self-identification as "a voter" long after the initial conversation with a canvasser. What is more, voter contacts have strong spillover effects within households, boosting participation by others as much as 60 percent. Read Article >>
From the Scholars Strategy Network
September 10, 2020

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Published: August 2019
Revised: July 2023

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